[Milton-L] 'nude, not naked' -- really?

Cristine Soliz csoliz at csoliz.com
Thu Nov 24 20:43:17 EST 2005


--which raises the question why Urania is the poetic voice.
Hello, I¹m new to the list and very much enjoying and grateful for the
active discussion.
-Cristine

-- 
Dr. Cristine Soliz
PhD in Comparative Literature
Faculty in English, Diné College
csoliz at csoliz.com


On 11/23/05 7:19 PM, "carl bellinger" <bcarlb at comcast.net> wrote:

>    But how seriously does anybody take Milton's claim that he receives
> dictation from a Muse?
>  
>    The invocations themselves, of course, can't be from a Muse.
>  
>    And the paragraph titled "The Verse" seems to announce that Milton, not
> some heavenly Muse, is following various notable literary models to recover,
> to English, a genuinely musical prosody. Which is to say, Milton composes
> every single line, crafts every enjambment, and counts every syllable.
> Correct?
>  
>     If the Muse does dictate parts of the poem, there is no doubt (is there?)
> that her dictation must begin at line 34 of Book One, just after Milton
> demands, "Say first...Say first... who first seduced them to that foul
> revolt?" But if this is precisely where the dictation begins, our required
> next question becomes, I think, "at precisely what line, in what Book, does
> Milton first step back into center stage to interrupt her response?
>  
>    And speaking of the naked or the nude, it's our own dear Milton isn't it
> [?] who provides such wonderful momentary suspensions of the narrative as the
> 15 syllables I've put here in square brackets:
>  
>              . . . .  into thir inmost bowre
> Handed they went; and [eas'd the putting off
> These troublesom disguises which wee wear,]    4.740
> Strait side by side were laid
>  
> -Carl
>>  
>> ----- Original Message -----
>>  
>> From:  Peter C.  Herman <mailto:herman2 at mail.sdsu.edu>
>>  
>> To: John Milton Discussion List <mailto:milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
>>  
>> Sent: Wednesday, November 23, 2005 12:18  PM
>>  
>> Subject: Re: [Milton-L] 'nude, not naked'  -- really?
>>  
>> 
>> Remember, though, that Milton disclaims responsibility for the  narration of
>> PL, ascribing it all to the muse, Urania: "higher argument /  Remaines,
>> sufficient of it self to raise / That name, unless an age too late,  or cold
>> / Climat, or Years damp my intended wing / Deprest and much they  may, if all
>> be mine, / Not Hers who brings it nightly to my Ear"  (9.42-47).
>> 
>> According to the fiction of PL, the narrator's voice is  not human, and
>> therefore not subject to our (fallen) limits (which of  course doesn't stop
>> her from getting it wrong every so often, but that's a  different story, I
>> suppose).
>> 
>> Peter C. Herman
>> 
>> At 08:51 AM  11/23/2005, you wrote:
>>  
>>> All:
>>> 
>>> I have tentatively  been thinking about the narrator's voice as human--i.e.,
>>> fallen, who  repeatedly bumps up against his/her limits.  "Undetermined
>>> square or  round."  Lots of Fish's examples.  "Process of speech" for  human
>>> ears.  Etc.  Which got me to wondering if sex in book 4  isn't another
>>> place.
>>> Can we think that a fallen voice can present  "unfallen" sex to other fallen
>>> persons?  I got to that question  before this string developed.
>>> 
>>> Whatever, I am struck by the negative  language in the passage.  Bad
>>> hypocrits, bad harlots, and the last  line--"And know to know no more."
>>> Among other matters, how is "know" used  here?
>>> 
>>> Hence I salute the opening of flemminng's message.
>>> 
>>> Boyd  Berry
>>> ----- Original Message -----
>>> From:  <jfleming at sfu.ca>
>>> To: <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
>>> Sent:  Wednesday, November 23, 2005 12:05 AM
>>> Subject: Re: [Milton-L] 'nude, not  naked' -- really?
>>> 
>>> 
>>>> > It seems to me that the concept of  "innocent sexuality" -- with its
>>>> > presumption that "innocent" can or  needs to attach to "sexuality" -- is
>>>> > precisely fallen. Thus the  point of prefallen sex in _PL_ is not that it
>>> is
>>>> > innocent or not,  but that the innocent/not-innocent binary does not
>>>> apply.
>>>> > Thus  "sweet reluctant amorous delay" (4.311); naked breasts meeting
>>>> >  half-hidden (4.492-497); the sun mounted in nature's womb  (5.300-302);
>>> Adam
>>>> > licked dry by the same sun, relieved of the  "balmy sweat" that so
>>> horrifies
>>>> > Geoffrey Hartmann (8.253-256)--  and that wd have horrified him even more
>>> if
>>>> > he had remembered,  via Marvell's "morning glue," the period homology
>>>> with
>>>> > both dew and  semen; thus the identity, rather than the distinction, of
>>>> > "Seized"  (4.489) and "seized" (9.1037). The briefest and completest way
>>>> to
>>>> >  think about this matter, accordingly, is that it is perfectly innocent
>>>> not
>>>> > to be innocent in Milton's paradise. Thinking it through in  terms of the
>>>> > fallen analogues, pornography is (arguably) a truer  index than
>>>> > anti-pornography to what unfallen sex, in M's vision, is  and possesses.
>>>> > Arguably. JD Fleming
>>>> >
>>>> > On Tue, 22 Nov  2005 21:37:57 -0500 milton-l at lists.richmond.edu wrote:
>>>>> > >  Somewhere, somebody is innocent.  I was, once.  There's a  photograph
>>>>> > > of me as Cupid, at the age of about two, fully  frontal nude, and I
was
>>>>> > > of course completely unaware that I was  funny, or a boy, or a subject
>>>>> > > for pedophilia.  I would  still like to believe that there are
>>>>> innocent
>>>>> > > people and that  there is innocent love.
>>>>> > >
>>>>> > > It is true that I have not  seen innocence or innocent sexuality shown
>>>>> > > well in  movies.  Some movies that I think have been successful in
>>>>> > >  showing innocence or innocent love in one form or another have been
>>>>> >  > Dear John (Swedish, 1964) and Babette's Feast (1987).  Since  Elvira
>>>>> > > Madigan is a story of adultery, it doesn't qualify, even  if Mozart's
>>>>> > > piano concerto seems innocent.  For innocent  nudity, see Manon the
>>> Spring.
>>>>> > >
>>>>> > > I had a  discussion about whether Paradise Lost could be staged, with
>>>>> > >  the wonderful stage director Jonathan Miller, and, though he is
>>>>> > >  certainly not prudish, the issue of presenting nudity without shame
or
>>>>> > > heat puzzled him to the point where he did not pursue the  project.
>>>>> > > There is a movie, not at all good, by Mike Figgis,  called The Loss of
>>>>> > > Sexual Innocence (1999); it depicts Adam and  Eve as black man and
>>>>> > > white woman arising out of water, but they  look mildly embarrassed,
>>>>> > > examining each other as if playing  Doctor.  There is a bower and a
>>>>> > > snake, and a sex scene  after the Fall, but none of it is very
>>> convincing.
>>>>> > >
>>>>> >  > Roy Flannagan
>>>>> > >
>>>>>>>> > > >>>  rastrier at uchicago.edu 11/22/05 12:21 PM >>>
>>>>> > > Yes, we  are lewd viewers.  That's what being fallen means.  In
>>>>> >  > concept, we can distinguish before and after, but not in  experience.
>>>>> > > Watching unfallen sex would be just as hot, if not  hotter, than
>>>>> > > watching unfallen sex.  As would watching a  nude picnic.  We would be
>>>>> > > kidding ourselves not to  acknowledge this, and failing to take into
>>>>> > > account what being  fallen means-- that's the "something."  Who are we
>>>>> > > kidding  about "innocent nudity"?  In idea, yes.  In reality, no.
>>>>> >  > Roger Scruton recently tried to argue that great art can't really  be
>>>>> > > erotic.  What nonsense.
>>>>> > >
>>>>> > > The  Graves poem seems quite complex and tricky to me.  To think  that
>>>>> > > it "resolves" the issue seems to me a bad reading of that  nice
>>>>> > > (though very minor and not very serious) poem.
>>>>> >  > _______________________________________________
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>>>>> >  >
>>>>> > >
>>>>> > >  _______________________________________________
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>>>>> >  >
>>>> >
>>>> >
>>>> > James Dougal Fleming, Ph.D.
>>>> > Assistant  Professor of English,
>>>> > Simon Fraser University,
>>>> > (604)  291-4713
>>>> >
>>>> > Laissez parler les faits.
>>>> >  _______________________________________________
>>>> > Milton-L mailing  list
>>>> > Milton-L at lists.richmond.edu
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>>> http://lists.richmond.edu/mailman/listinfo/milton-l
>>>> >
>>> 
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>>  
>> 
>>  
>> 
>>  
>> 
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